Water meter warning: Major change as millions may be forced to install new readers


As many as six million households in these areas may have to install water meters in an attempt to cut down on water consumption, despite three billion litres of water supplies being lost to leaks. However, consumer advocacy group for the industry Consumer Council for Water has criticised these companies for not dealing with their own water waste problem before putting the burden on families.

Households that refuse to comply can be charged an extra £200 per year for their water bill.

Around 104 areas throughout the country have recently been classified as “under serious water stress”, meaning demand for water is threatening to overtake supply and thus they will be eligible for compulsory water monitoring.

A further 50 areas had already been classified as under stress since 2013, with most affected areas being in the south, west and east of the country and the Midlands.

South West Water increased its leakage last year, in spite of targets to reduce it by three percent.

Thames Water has water leaks at twice the national average, yet it has been monitoring its customers water usage since 2013.

A spokesman from Consumer Council for Water told The Times: “Metering programmes have proven successful in identifying and fixing leaks on customers’ own pipework.

“But water companies should be leading by example in reducing the enormous volumes of water that are lost every day and which dampen households’ own motivation to save water.”

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“Customers need to have confidence that water companies are cutting down on leakage so that they take steps to reduce their consumption.”

Water UK said: “Thanks to new innovations such as intelligent networks, smart sensors, satellite technology and drones, companies have successfully reduced leakage in recent years to the lowest levels on record.

“We also see it as a key responsibility to provide customers with information and advice about the benefits of saving water, including metering where appropriate, given the future challenges posed to water supplies.”


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